Slavery. Are we not all slaves on some level and to some degree? We take orders all of our lives from parents teachers bosses cops captains generals and if we rebel there are consequences parental restrictions detentions tickets terminations court martials imprisonments executions racks thumb screws floggings flailings and even god forbid severe scoldings and eyebrow raisings. So behave yourselves watch your manners hold your tongues don’t talk back hop to it salute curtsy bow kneel don’t sass back pull over when you see red lights flashing in your rear view mirror and sirens screech keep your hands on the wheel is there a problem officer yes sir no sir what’s that you say sir I didn’t signal when I turned but officer I never turned the road is straight for twenty miles behind and twenty miles ahead I could’t turn if I wanted to uh oh wrong response don’t give me no lip boy don’t reach for that gun in your pocket boy but officer I don’t have a gun in my pocket I’m just happy to see you double uh oh some people have no sense of humor shots are fired your brains splatter a 9mm is discreetly placed in your hand then those five magic words taught in Cop 101- “I feared for my life.” No video no witnesses no crime. Ain’t nothin’ but a thing.
We think we’re slaves? We think our servitude is bad? Think twice unless you’re Black.
The myth. The great myth that slavery ended when Bobby Lee took the quill from Ulysses Grant and signed on the dotted line. The great war is over slavery is abolished emancipation is proclaimed free at last free at last well don’t be too fast loosening your shackles. Good old Abe as naive as he was appealing to the better angels of our nature why it was all a nasty disagreement and we did keep it within the family we forgive you oh Sons and Daughters of the Noble Confederacy we just didn’t see eye to eye on a few things let’s let bygones be bygones but the Confederacy as treacherous as a coiled snake on a flag kept their hatred alive inside their hearts inside their bones oh Abraham you should have listened to the whispers of the darker angels and broken the backs of the traitor states annexation absorption by the victors the righteous victors The North was voracious enough to swallow The South but temperance was observed in nothing be so temperate as in the handling of vipers their states stayed intact and slavery lived on manifested in different guise in Jim Crow chain gangs lynchings segregation now segregation tomorrow segregation forever slavery dies a slow death and without a stake driven through it’s heart it will rise again not that it ever truly fell.
A flawed but decent man once asked, “Can’t we just get along?”A simple and innocent question a bit odd perhaps in light of his having been beaten half to death by a phalanx of White racist cops getting their ya yas by subjugating a big Black buck. And the city of Los Angeles The City Of The Angels nearly burned to the ground when his oppressors, their brutality rendered forever on video, were yet acquitted. It ain’t nothin’ but a thing.
Was Sisyphus in fact a Black slave, rolling the great boulder of freedom up the steep mountain and just when he thought the back breaking soul breaking ordeal was finished, when he thought he was free at last free at last, the boulder slipping from his grasp just before the summit, rolling back to the bottom oh so near and yet so far so much struggle so much turmoil endured then having to start all over again. Regression is the equal and opposite reaction to progression maybe Newton called it right so to all of you descended progeny of slaves remember your roots and loosened shackles can be ratcheted back up at the drop of a hat so watch each others’ backs and when the wind blows keep a tight grip on that snazzy new Stetson. It ain’t nothin’ but a thing.